S1E16 - Hinduism approach to grief and mourning

Author Posted On 10 November 2023

Podcast Transcript


Welcome to another episode of "Grief Untangled." I'm your host Coach DD, and today we're delving into a profound topic that touches the heart of Hinduism and its approach to grief and mourning. As I come from the same religious background, I thought to shed some light on how Hinduism approaches the grieving and mourning process.

I have an interesting announcement to make about a new segment that I am soon going to start. So stay till the end.

Segment 1: The Foundation - Law of Karma

To understand the Hindu approach to grief, we must begin with the foundation - the Law of Karma. In Hinduism, life is seen as an eternal cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. This cycle is driven by one's karma, or actions, in past lives and the present.

The Law of Karma teaches us that our actions have consequences. When a loved one passes away, Hindus believe that it's a result of their karma. This perspective can provide some solace, as it suggests a cosmic order that transcends our limited understanding.

Segment 2: The 13 Days Ritual

One of the most significant aspects of the Hindu grieving process is the 13-day ritual, known as 'Antyeshti' or ‘Final Samskara.' This ritual is performed by the family of the deceased, and it's a journey of transition for the soul.

The 13 days are divided into three phases, each with a specific purpose. The first three days focus on acknowledging the loss and purifying the environment. The next ten days involve remembering the deceased and helping their soul through the journey to the afterlife.

Segment 3: Beliefs and Significance

The Hindu 13-day ritual is deeply rooted in the belief that the soul undergoes a journey after death. It is said that during these days, the soul roams around and may return home one last time before departing for its ultimate destination.

Family members perform various ceremonies to ensure the soul's safe passage. These rituals include lighting lamps, reciting prayers, and offering food to the deceased. While it may seem like superstition to some, it brings a profound sense of meaning and connection to those grieving.

Segment 4: Affect on the Grieving Process

The Hindu approach to grief and mourning can be both consoling and challenging. On one hand, it provides a spiritual framework to make sense of the loss and helps in coping with the pain. On the other hand, the rituals and customs can be emotionally demanding.

This process, like grief itself, is deeply personal. For some, it strengthens faith and offers comfort; for others, it can raise questions and doubts. In the end, it's a unique journey for each individual and family.

In my own experience, I encountered various facets and emotions associated with grief once the community grieving process of 13 days concluded. The journey thereafter became quite isolating. Friends and family returned to their regular routines, and I found myself with limited support to guide me through the grieving process. Rebuilding our lives without our loved ones posed a significant challenge, marking this as the most demanding phase. That’s why I am on a mission to assist everyone in navigating their grieving journey with greater dignity and grace. Because when our grieving process is hindered, so is our healing process.


In conclusion, the Hinduism approach to grief, rooted in the Law of Karma and the 13-days ritual, provides a spiritual lens through which to view loss and mourning. It brings solace, guidance, and a profound sense of connection to something greater than ourselves.

We hope this episode has shed light on this intricate aspect of grief, and as always, we encourage you to explore, learn, and adapt these teachings in ways that bring you comfort and peace. Thank you for joining us today on "Grief Untangled."

I am excited to share that soon I am going to start a new segment of interview podcasts in which I will invite some of the other Grief Educators from different parts of the world to share their views and cultural approaches to Grief and mourning. So stay tuned for that.

Until next time, take care, and remember, you're not alone on this journey. 🌼

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